A fragile time. Kaitlyn Bristowe fell back into depression while filming her season of The Bachelorette after previously battling the condition in her 20s.
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“I didn’t get anywhere near where I was in that really dark time, but I definitely struggled with depression during the show and while I was facing all that scrutiny,” the former ABC personality, 34, exclusively told Us Weekly in an interview on Friday, May 15.
Bristowe met and got engaged to Shawn Booth during season 11 of The Bachelorette in 2015. She explained that being in the public eye led to the decline in her mental health but she understood that her feelings were “temporary.” The Canada native found herself facing another “funk” after she and Booth, 32, split in 2018.
“I saw myself going down that same path, but I had the tools and the self-respect and everything to know that I was OK and it was just an easier transition for me because I was confident in where I was at as a person,” Bristowe said.
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Those mental health struggles were a stark contrast to the depression she experienced in her 20s. The “Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe” podcast host detailed on her new YouTube series, 9 to Wine, how she developed a valium addiction that led her to weigh just 93 pounds.
Bristowe told Us that it’s “wild” for her to think about that period in her life, which was the result of moving back in with her mom and stepdad at the age of 27 after a breakup. She recalled how she wasn’t able to see how bad things had gotten for her until her family and friends stepped in.
She explained that she dealt with her addiction “hour by hour” and even battled some dark thoughts.
“I remember being so dizzy and just being, like, ‘It would be so easy to just have another one and, you know, go to sleep but not feel this anymore,’” Bristowe said. “But I’m just, that’s not who I am. I don’t want to live my life like that and it had been long enough and I was just so done with feeling numb because Kaitlyn Bristowe loves to feel her feelings and being numb is not doing that.”
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She added, “It’s fine to be sad and have your moment and I really sat in my sadness but it’s about coming out on the other side and what you do with it after.”
Bristowe later moved on with Bachelorette alum Jason Tartick, whom she began dating in January 2019.
For more from Bristowe, check out new episodes of 9 to Wine available Wednesday on YouTube and her new single, “If I’m Being Honest,” available now.